In “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues”, billionaire playboy, Elton John, succinctly summed up the genre of music famously created by poor, African-American musicians.

The line of that track that reverberates around my heart so is “time on my hands could be time spent with you,” and feel I must type through the waterfall of tears on my keyboard to encourage you all to heed this genuis’ advice. When you’re on your death bed, you’re not going to say “Boy, I sure am glad I didn’t spend enough time with my loved ones,” that’s if you’re lucky enough to even have a death bed – my Great Uncle Jedidiah died in a sleeping bag, for example.
So while you’re cherishing the short time you have with your dearest, you may rest easy knowing that I, Elliot Dyson will be watching Smackdown Live so you don’t have to.

This week’s instalment of Smackdown Live saw the one thing we’ve all been waiting for finally come to fruition. That’s right, Papa’s talkin’ bout the grand reuniting of The Spirit Squad!
The Miz hosted a “Dolphumentary”, which was a well-made, genuinely funny, pessimistic recap of Ziggler’s career masquerading as a trailer for a new “WWE 24” special. The whole segment was pretty golden, except The Miz’s suit, which was cherry red and gosh-darn beautiful. Miz took some great shots at Dolph’s seemingly lacklustre career, including one zinger so savage, I have no choice but to recap it word for word.
[When introducing the Spirit Squad]
Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin: “You know, I wish there could be more of them, but, believe it or not, two of the, got lost in transit when you guys got sent back to OVW.”
The scene culminated in Spirit Squad turning on Ziggler after he tried to attack The Miz, but Nicky being the most cunning of all the members of that male cheerleading team, managed to fight his way out of that kerfuffle, looking like he might finally prove himself this Sunday at No Mercy.

Has it come to this?
Has it come to this?

This week’s Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton storyline played out… weirdly. Here it is in picture form!
Bray Randy
Bray Randy Conclusion

We’ve been coasting for a while now with most of the divisions on SD Live. In both the women’s and tag team division, a lot of the competitors are unfamiliar to the main roster fans and they’ve had very little introduction. Till this point, we’ve been dealing with tournaments and multi-person brawls to determine the relevant players, but Smackdown aimed to change that this week, with a rare appearance from The Vaudevillians.
The gentleman bruisers were set to take on The Hype Bros in a subtext free clash that would simply begin to establish a bit of a pecking order in the division. A loss on their part saw The Vaudevillians firmly cement their status at the bottom of the totem pole.
The match would have fulfilled its goal perfectly if The Ascension didn’t walk out (without music) a couple of minutes into the match, you know, so we don’t forget the exist. This was another instance of Smackdown feeling like they had to cram in as much as possible, instead of simply giving The Ascension some time later, or in another episode. All the teams in this division, barring the top 2, really do need to establish themselves with the crowd and more matches of this sort will help immeasurably.
Interestingly, Breezeango have been missing since before Backlash now, despite being one of the few teams in the division to garner any real fan response (everyone here at Vulture Hound is a huge Breezango fan).


– The standard pre-ppv hype tag match included Alexa Bliss and Carmella Vs. Nikki Bella and Becky Lynch. It ended with a “Twisted Bliss” to the champ, giving a win to the heel team.
– Daniel Bryan hosted a Susan G Komen puff piece, which The Miz tried to interrupt, I think? It was weird.
– David Otunga’s catchphrase is officially “I spoke to Rikishi and…”. I’m gonna make some shirts for it and put them on Pro Wrestling Tees.
– Jason Jordan beat one of the Usos in a singles match in particularly quick fashion, but oh, wouldn’t you know, them Uce boys didn’t like that one bit and went to work on Jordan’s knee, akin to what they did to Chad Gable a few weeks ago. Slater and Rhyno saved the day.
– Curt Hawkins is going to debut at No Mercy and I hate him so much already.
– Jack Swagger Vs. Baron Corbin ended with The Lone Wolf accidentally tapping out to an ankle lock while reaching for the rope. Then he raged around the ring for a bit.

"I'll show you, you steel bastards!"
“I’ll show you, you steel bastards!”

I find myself annoyed when the evening’s main event isn’t even a match, but biggest names just slagging each other off. That said, last night’s main event annoyed me less than most. AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and John Cena met in the ring to interrupt each other and eventually deliver finishing manoeuvres to one another. The finale of the night saw Dean Ambrose say “Have fun being the guy that plays John Cena on TV” to Big Match John, proceeded by Cena delivering an AA to the wacky chap. Then, AJ landed a Phenomenal Forearm on Cena and in turn, Ambrose scored a Dirty Deed on the ramp over the champ.
no mercy main event

So Smackdown Live certainly delivered the momentum before No Mercy on Sunday, and hopefully, that can be backed up with a second solid PPV for the blue brand. I sure am glad I’m not Raw reviewer, Bradley Tiernan, right now – partially because Smackdown is killing Raw, but mostly because just… eww, you know?